Friday, May 18, 2018

Awe and Anger Drive Viral Marketing

Companies engage in the online marketing world seek to create viral messages that will be passed on the Internet form user to user to create a broader reach. It can be difficult to determine what makes something viral and what doesn't. Research indicates that viral marketing is driven by physiological arousal and emotion (Berger & Milkman, 2012).

The study found that users who viewed media that cause high arousal states such as positive awe or negative anger shared the media more often.

On the flip side, those media pieces that led to sadness were less shared by others.

What this tells us is that companies should create awe inspiring media driven by magnificence or focus on things that really anger people.

Not all things work well for all types of industries. For example, a company may have fall out trying to produce anger so would be best focusing on create awe. At the same time, non-profits and advocacy groups might be better served by anger motivations that push people to act and get involved. 

Berger, J. & Milkman, K. (2012). What makes online content viral? Journal of Marketing Research, 49 (2).

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